The King Features Syndicate Distribution Book is a collection of comic strips and crossword puzzles, issued by King Features Syndicate to their publishing partners. Containing a weeks worth of licensed material to be published in newspapers across the USA, the Distribution Book pre-dates the period when such material could be issued in digital format by King Features Syndicate.
The below Distribution Book example was compiled and issued by King Features Syndicate on the 23rd of May, 1991, with the content to be published in newspaper from the 26th of May, thru to the 1st of June, 1991. The front cover contains the title, ‘King Features Illustrated Weekly’, the books are sometimes referred to as ‘Syndicate Chapbooks’.
The King Features Syndicate Distribution Book measures a large 43cm x 28cm, containing in-excess of 50 pages with black and white internal pages, copied directly off proof sheets. The contents are the actual size as they would appear in newspapers, ready to be copied and published. The book is held together by 3 staples, designed to be removed so that the pages become loose for the newspaper publisher to easily manage.
Within the Distribution Book, we find comic strips licensed by King Features Syndicate, including Mandrake the Magician, Flash Gordon, Popeye, Hubert, HAGAR the Horrible and many more. We also find pages containing numerous crossword puzzles. Page 1 of the Distribution Book contains a copyright disclaim note.
We find 2 pages within the Distribution Book containing Phantom comic strips:
- 1 full page containing the Sunday story to be published on the 26th of May, the Lee Falk and Sy Barry classic story, ‘Return of the Thuggees’.
- 1 full page containing 6 Daily strips to be published from the 27th of May, thru to the 1st of June, containing the Lee Falk and Sy Barry classic story, ‘Zima, The Rogue Elephant’.
Two internal pages can be seen below.